What are keywords? Keywords are words or phrases that define your content. They help searchers understand the topic or idea of your article.
In my post, I show you I give you an in-depth overview of why keywords are important for your website and how to use them in your blog title, and meta description.
In my article, I have examples of how sites ranking on the first page of Google, use keywords.
Why use keywords?
When your blog post appears in search results, you want searchers to click on your website link. How do you get them to click? You use keywords in your title to get the attention of the searcher, to let them know that your article is what they are looking for.
If you want to rank high on Google, write content that meets the intent of a searcher. It’s Google’s job to match content with search queries. If your blog post is the best on the internet for a search query, Google will show your website link in its search results.
Google has millions of websites to choose from, therefore, to rank high, you need the best content.
Identify a searcher’s need, and write a blog post that offers solutions to that need. Once you have a search query that you want to write a post for, use ‘keywords’ that appeal to that searcher.
Let’s look at how to get a searcher’s attention.
Use keywords in your blog title
When your website appears in search results, your blog title has the largest text size. It is what searchers read to decide what link they want to click on.
Here are some title tags for a search result about ‘how to start a blog’.
Google has a character limit on title tags if you go over that limit, Google will cut off your title. The first two results on this list have three dots after the last word, this means Google has cut off the title tag for the website.
The third result has a full title tag. Therefore, when you are writing titles for your blog, take care not to go over the limit. Keep your title short and concise.
Let’s look at an example of a search query about golfing.
I typed ‘how to improve my golf swing’ into Google, here is the first-page result.
Put yourself in the shoes of the searcher. Ask yourself, what do they need? What are they looking for? When you understand this, it is easier to write a title tag that appeals to the searcher.
The searcher wants to find a website that will help them improve their golf swing. Let’s look closer at the top three search results, how have they used keywords to get the attention of the searcher? Have they understood the searcher’s intent?
Number one search position
Number one spot’s title tag tells us that their top 10 golf swing tips are indispensable for someone who wants to improve their swing.
This website has an excellent title tag. It is spot on with the searcher’s intent. They use words like ‘Tips’, ‘Best’, and ‘Ever’. They also included words from the search query, ‘Golf swing’. If the content delivers fantastic content, then this website has done a first-class job.
Number two search position
The second spot website has a shorter title tag, it is short and concise but lacks emotion. The first website used ‘Best’, ‘Tips’, and ‘Ever’, this site understands searcher intent, but the title is a bit bland.
Number three search position
The third website also has a short title tag, they have matched the search query by using the keywords, ‘Swing a golf club’, but again lacks a bit of emotion.
If I were the searcher, I think the first website would attract me because they understand my intent, used keywords from the search query, and used words to emphasize the quality of their post.
Use keywords in your meta description
The meta description is the text displayed just below the title. It is a short introduction of what to expect if you go to this post. Your title tag attracts the attention of the searcher, your meta description, sells it.
I use a plugin called Yoast to write title tags and meta descriptions for my posts. If you would like to know how to use Yoast to write your meta description, check out my post about changing title tags and meta descriptions.
Let’s take a look at the meta descriptions for the top three results of my golf swing search.
Top spot meta description
When you write blog posts you can specify a meta description for that post. Unfortunately, you can’t force Google to use it. Google decides what it will use as a meta description, sometimes it is the description you set and sometimes it is text taken from your content.
My tip is to use words from the search query in your meta description. Again, Google limits the character count in the description. If you go over, the end of your meta description will have three dots, like in the above screenshot.
Google took a section of a comment to use for this site’s meta description, which I don’t think is good. That could mean that the post writer didn’t specify a meta description or Google preferred to use something else.
After having an excellent title tag, I think the meta description could have been better for this site. What do you think?
Second spot meta description
This website post is a slide show with only a couple of sentences to introduce the slide show. Google has used the intro text as a meta description. I think it works, it contains the keyword ‘Swing’ and asks an interesting question that the searcher could relate to. The description also tells us the tips come from teaching professionals.
Third place meta description
The meta description for this site is good, it uses keywords from the search query. Google helps bring attention to this by highlighting them in the text.
The description talks about learning how to swing frame by frame, discover a new way to improve with teachers, weekly clinics, and a chance to have your swing analysed.
I think this site has the best meta description, if I were the searcher, I would be interested. Do you agree?
Here is a video showing you how to use the Yoast SEO plugin to write your title tags and meta descriptions.
How to change your title tag and meta description on a WordPress using Yoast video tutorial
What does Google want?
Google wants to deliver the best search results possible for each and every user. They do this by understanding the searcher’s intent.
Keywords in your title tag, meta description, and content help Google understand your blog post. It isn’t just about keywords, your content needs to be top quality, too. If you have a post full of keywords but poor quality content then you will not rank high, if at all, on Google.
You need an excellent title and meta description that gets searchers to click on your website link and content that delivers a fantastic user experience.
Google is continually updating the way it analyzes content. If you publish excellent content, eye-catching titles and meta descriptions that make people want to know more. You will do well on Google.
What are organic keywords?
Organic keywords are used to get your site shown in Google or Bing search results. If your content matches a search query, your blog post will show, you don’t have to pay money for this.
If the searcher is interested in your blog title and meta description then clicks on the link to go to your website. This is free (organic) traffic.
This is what website owners want. Free (organic) traffic. If you work hard to build an excellent informative website, you should get organic traffic.
What are ‘paid’ keywords?
Google has Google Adwords. Adwords are the sponsored ads you see in each search page result. Usually, they are on the right-hand side, along the top, and along the bottom.
These ads are activated by search queries. Google tries to show you ads that match your search query in the hope that you will click on a sponsored ad rather than an organic link.
If you click on a sponsored ad, Google gets a payment, if you click on an organic link, they don’t.
Paid keywords work in the same way as organic keywords but you have to pay to have an ad shown on Google and Bing searches.
It is possible to get on the first page of Google with Adwords, but it will cost you. Cost is determined on the keyword you want to target. The higher the competition the higher the cost.
How do I optimize keywords?
A great way to optimize keywords in your posts is by using your Google Search Console. Your console shows you keywords generating traffic to your blog.
Look at the list and use keywords that are relevant to your post to expand your content. Make your content longer and more in-depth.
If you want to know how to use Google search console to optimize your keywords then I suggest reading my other article about how you can add ranking keywords to your content.
What are long-tail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are a number of words together to make one keyword phrase. Usually, more than three words together are considered long-tail keywords.
For example, if you wanted to write a blog post about golf, then you will find it very hard to rank for the keyword ‘golf’ because there is so much competition.
If you targeted something like ‘tips to improve your golf swing’ you would have a better chance to rank because you have targeted a more specific keyword, which means less competition.
Writing content tips
When writing content, use sub-headings, keep your sentences and paragraphs short, use images throughout your post. Embedding videos also helps keep your visitors engaged. Visitors to your website scan your content, sub-headings help them find the section that interests them.
When you start blogging there is so much information to absorb. To get your website posts on Google and Bing you have to produce top-quality content.
There are many factors that Google looks at to rank a website, the most important one is excellent content. When you search for topics to write about, choose a search query you know the answer to and can write an in-depth blog post about.
Understand the searcher’s intent and title your blog post using keywords from the search query. Have keywords in your title tag and meta description. Also, use them in your content, but don’t overdo it. Your content should flow, be easy to read, don’t force keywords into your blog post.
I hope with my blog post I have helped you understand keywords and why they are important for your website. It is about clarity, keeping to the point, don’t add content for the sake of content to improve your word count.
When you finish your blog post, think about the original search query and ask yourself, did I answer this query 100%? If you were the searcher, do you have all the information? Or, do you need to another search?
Before you go back to your blog to review keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions, would you mind leaving me a comment? I would appreciate feedback from you. Let me know what you think. I look forward to reading your comments.
For more tutorials on SEO, WordPress, and the Amazon affiliate program, check out my YouTube channel.